So, you’ve bought yourself a fancy digital single lens reflex camera with an expensive lens.

Why not take off that lens and try taking photographs without it?

Do what?


And why?

How? First you will need a camera body cap. That’s the circular piece of plastic that fitted in to the lens opening to seal the camera body when you bought it. You can use the one that came with your camera, but I’d advise you get another one. Most specialist photo shops can sell you one for a few bucks.

You’ll also need a largish drill (size doesn’t matter), a sharp pin, some sandpaper, sticky tape and a piece of heavy-duty aluminium cooking foil. The sort of foil used to make pie dishes is ideal.

Drill a largish hole in the centre of your camera body cap - removing the cap from the camera first, of course. The size isn't particularly important, but it should be fairly big.The large drill shattered the plastic here, making a rather ragged hole. But that doesn't matter. It's going to be covered by the foil.

If you don't have a large enough drill you can cut a square hole out of he plastic using a craft knife.

Next, cut a square of aluminium foil, significantly bigger than the hole you’ve just drilled and, using your pin, make a tiny hole in the metal.

Very gently sand down the outer edge of the hole – where the pin pushing through has raised the foil slightly – so it is flat. And then very carefully work the tip of the pin in the hole again to remove any burrs and make it perfectly round. The object is to get a perfectly round hole that is as small as possible.

Having made a pinhole to your satisfaction (you can hold it up to the light to see how it’s going) position the foil on the inside of the body cap so the pinhole is in the centre of the bigger hole and stick it in place with the tape.

Fit your modified body cap on the camera in place of the lens and ... voilá ... you have a pinhole camera.

But why do this?

Because you can learn a lot about the physics of photography, you can get some strange and unusual images ... for example, pinhole cameras have an extraordinary depth of field ... and it's fun.

World Pinhole Day is coming up in exactly one month. On the 26th April.

Here’s an image I took for the event last year.

This year, why not make your own pinhole camera and join the fun?

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